The courthouse steps of Bexar Country have seen a lot of activity over the past year. Foreclosure auctions, unfortunately, have become an all-too-common occurrence, not only in Bexar County, but throughout most of the country. Looking ahead, it is expected that mortgage lenders will be coming in to take back 1,652 properties throughout Bexar County in January alone. This will likely be the highest total on record and also a clear indication that Bexar County may not be out of the woods just yet when it comes to foreclosures.
Foreclosures at Record High
This hard news is even harder to take, considering that 2009 was a quite the dismal year for real estate in Bexar County. In fact, the total numbers of properties that fell into foreclosure in Bexar County during 2009 was an astonishing 14,000, which is the highest number of foreclosures in Bexar County in nearly 20 years. For many analysts and economists, this type of grim news makes it hard to see the silver lining in the real estate industry; but it is there, we just might have to look a bit harder for it.
Who’s in Jeopardy of Foreclosure
Because many homeowners’ adjustable rate mortgages that they took out in 2004 to 2006 are due to reset, the number of foreclosures is expected to continue well into 2010. However, the low interest rates may just be the industry’s saving grace amidst all of this doom and gloom. Although the homeowners who secured adjustable-rate or interest-only mortgages a few years ago are falling onto hard times, it appears that the homeowners who purchased homes since then are having more luck hanging onto their homes. Many homeowners struggling with interest-only mortgages, for example, often find themselves in an “upside down” situation; in other words, they can’t even sell their homes because they owe more on them than what they are worth.
Nationally, 23 percent of the properties across the nationwide were in this precarious position, while just 11 percent of Texas homes were underwater. One of the problems with identifying when the foreclosure crisis in Bexar County will come to and end is that many lenders have offered moratoriums on foreclosures; unfortunately, this is often simply delaying the inevitable.